So a little back story. I have had a long running Sat night game for a while, several GMs, several campaigns and LOADS of fun. We have for the most part been playing for about 2 years now. Recently I started a new game on a Thursday morning (6pm CT). That’s my time, but it also fits into a prime US time zone. So talking with another streamer (an awesome one) calle TabTwice. I have her at the bottom of the right of the site. Give her a follow as well. Anyway, talking with her, and some of her community we started a game. This game and my main campaign are making a roughly similar path in their campaigns, starting with the same module, but then going wherever they decide to afterwards.
But this story is not about them, or the game itself. No; this story is about chance. About randomness and chance and coincidence and all the things we pray to the RN Gods as gamers the world over do. About gaming, and all the ludicrousness that brings, and the joy with it as well. This is a story of two players, in two different campaigns, live on stream both rolling nearly identicle rolls, and suffering nearly identical fates.
The module we are playing is from Tales of the Yawning Portal; specifically The Sunless Citadel. This is the 3rd ed module updated to 5e, and slotted into my own campaign world and homebrew setting of Tir Avalon.
The groups have both arrived in the main town, done a few things, split the parties (yes; BOTH groups split, and each time it was 1 (ONE) player that went alone. We use Roll20 to play, I do for most things actually. I also have it setup to roll advantage/disadvantage by default. Even though I don’t actually use it really; and Discord for voice. So Thursday (2 days ago from tonight’s game) we gather, and the group sets out, and both groups manage to make it to the entrance to where the citadel is. Both manage to get down to the top landing easily.
Tonight’s group, one of the group lit the fire at the top, giving them some light. The group on Thursday just went past it. I like to add simple things to maps to help make them more alive, more realistic. In the old days a simple, VERY ismple trap is to make a stair on a set of them a different height. Higher or lower it does not matter. The idea of it is to make the person overbalance with a suddenly different stride. Then hope gravity lends a hand. This trap is like that, with a touch added for cunning.
If a player steps on the step, its a DC10 chance to save and just step again. The next step is a balanced one. It tips forward, putting the toes of the stair descender into a wire to trip them up, so if you step over the first one, the second one trips you up. And you tumble down the stairs. Now this is where the RNG is a surprising factor in gaming. I will go through the VODs (linked below) of the two sessions, so you can see this happen as it did on stream. I will update once I have that ready, but for now, just check out the vods.
Anyway, here’s hwat happened. On Thursday, one opf the players (Panda, a Ursine (Panda) Fighter. She went down the stairs, and hit the first trap. So, she rolled a Dex saving throw vs DC10. This was her roll on the dice, no mods  . Oops, chance for a critical fail on the save. So to get a pass, Panda needed to again roll DC10 on Dex saving throw. Her native roll results (no mods): . Two critical fails, backed up in the second roll for each pair both being identical.
Then tonight; this time Aravor’s Dragonborn was walking down the same stairs, down to the same trap. And this was his first roll: . So the step had tripped him, and gravity was taking over. His toes, like Panda’s PC, caught on the wire and he went sprawling. On Thursday, Panda had her Warhammer fly over the edge into the darkness. Tonight the Dragonborn Druid had his spear do the same thing. Why, well because this was HIS second roll:.
Yup. Same trap, both roll critical failures, but more than that, the OTHER roll of the pairs, they BOTH rolled duplicates. BOTH, on the same trap, in the same adventure, in the same week…
God I love gaming…
Here are the screenshots of the rolls each made, and links to the VODs to watch them happen. I will also make a video and upload it, and link it here later, so keep an eye out.
- Thursday’s game: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/547445963
- Saturday’s game: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/548668774